The Toothless Gospel
Let Jesus Come into Your Heart
When a mother heard her young son rummaging through the kitchen drawer she came in and screamed. There was the young boy standing with a long knife pointed at his chest ready to plunge the knife into his heart. His mother screamed and he dropped the knife and started to cry. She said, "What are you doing?" The young boy said, "I wanted to let Jesus into my heart." The young boy went into the kitchen after he asked his mother about Jesus and how to go to heaven. She had told him to "Just let Jesus come into your heart."
That event was not just a story but it really happened. This unbiblical presentation of the gospel almost cost her son' his life. Where in the Bible does it say that we must "Let Jesus into our heart?" Answer? Nowhere! Should we also let Him into our kidneys, our liver, or our appendix? Come on. This doesn't work.
Jesus Loves You
Yes, Jesus loves you but He is also asking you to repent. The saying "the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man" is not in the Bible. Whoever is not of Christ is not a child of the Father. To simply walk up to people and proclaim that "Jesus loves you" is never going to bring about the knowledge that they are sinners and in need of a Savior and that, at present, the wrath of God is on all who have not trusted in Christ. God is love yes, but to dwell on only one attribute of God does so to the exclusion of His other attributes. You can not separate one attribute from another. What may be God's greatest attribute is that He is holy. In fact, the only attribute of God that is mentioned three times is that He is "Holy, Holy, Holy." In Jewish literature, to repeat something two times is to make an extreme emphasis but to say something three times is to stress it to the nth degree. Jesus loves us yes, but it is a holy, righteous, demanding love that asks us to repent, confess our sins, and to trust in Him to save us.
This is not the gospel preached in the New Testament and it waters it down so much as to not even be another gospel but no gospel at all. One man in a park walked around with a sign that said, "Jesus loves you." Well, that's nice but a lot of people would answer, "Well, my children love me, my mom loves me, my husband loves me...." No where in the Bible does anyone present the gospel by saying, "Jesus loves you." Can you imagine Jesus or Paul going up to the Pharisees, the tax collectors or even the Greeks and saying "I love you." Didn't happen. Bad idea because it doesn't work.
I have seen so many of these signs that ask us to "Accept Jesus." Why? Does Jesus need our acceptance? I would be more concerned as to if Jesus would accept us! When this type of gospel presentation is made its like, "Well, I guess I will just have to accept Jesus if I have too...if He needs me to accept Him in order to be saved then I guess I'll just have to accept it." Don't like it. Doesn't work. If you're going to "accept" anything, accept the fact that you are a sinner, just like I did, and that our sins have separated us from a holy God. I pleaded with Him for forgiveness for committing cosmic treason and repented from my sinful life. I confessed my need for a Savior and put my trust in Him to be the atonement for my sins....but not ever did I say, "Well Jesus, I guess I have to accept You in order to get to heaven."
This is not biblical either and nowhere in the Bible does it say that we are to accept Jesus. By the way, He is the One that grants repentance (2 Tim 2:25).
Give Your Heart to Jesus
Not loving this one either. "Give your heart to Jesus?" I know of someone who donated one of his kidneys to save another person's life but you can't actually give your heart away. I know this is a common expression but what does it mean to say that "I gave my heart to Jesus?" It's not going to help anyone come to saving faith by asking them, "Have you given your heart to Jesus or would you consider giving your heart to Jesus?"
Is this in the Bible? No! What chapter and verse says that you can give your heart to Jesus or asking someone else to give their heart to Jesus? Doesn't work. Bad idea. It's unbiblical.
I have no clue what this means. Isn't Jesus presently sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven? This sounds too much like "Got milk?" This gospel presentation is impotent.
Not biblical, needless to say.
ive Your Life to Jesus
(See above Give Your Heart to Jesus) Doesn't work. You need your life. Not in the Bible!
Don't Lose Heart. You're Awesome
This was on a church sign and I just couldn't believe it. Only God is awesome. The word awesome should only be reserved for God Himself. No, I am not awesome. I would only say that I am awful...a wretch and not deserving to be saved. There is not one that is righteous, nope, not even one (Rom 3:10) and there is none that do good (Rom 3:12).
I'm awesome? Really! Show me that in the Bible...chapter and verse please. Not biblical.
The Sinners Prayer
God saves...but repeating a sinner's prayer never does. Let me explain. God alone saves and Jesus Christ is the only way (Acts 4:12). If you are repeating a sinners prayer or even filling out a decision card (not biblical either) you may be giving someone false assurance or creating a pseudo conversion. God grants repentance (2 Tim 2:25) but it doesn't say "a sinners prayer" or "decision cards" grant repentance. Even walking an isle doesn't save you. God alone saves. When the unsaved asked what they must do to be saved, Paul, Philipp, or Peter never said, "Well, here fill out this decision card, walk the isle or repeat this sinners prayer." No, they say repent or something like "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31).
The need for anyone to seek to be saved is only relevant until the wrath of God is revealed. A sinner's prayer hardly does the job. I couldn't find this in my Bible, so I guess someone just made it up. This is not found in the Bible.
Make Your Decision for God
No, you are making a decision for yourself and not one for God. Yes, God will save you if you see your sinfulness and inability to save yourself, but making a decision for God is like saying I am making this decision for Him and not for me. Wrong.
Not biblical. Couldn't find it!
The Real Gospel
I have seen so many church signs say that we can "Come to Jesus" or "Need Jesus?" and even "Need Happiness? You Need Jesus." This is such a seeker sensitive time we live in and the soft-sell, easy believism just doesn't work. Until we tell people the bad news that if they step out of this life without Christ as their Lord and Savior, they're going straight to hell because their sins have only earned them eternal death (Rom 6:23)...that they are separated from a Holy God by their sins and they need to repent (Isaiah 59:2)...that only Jesus can become sin for them and through Him alone can they be seen as having His righteousness (2 Cor 5:21)...that ever one of us fall far short of God's standard (Rom 3:23)...that we are not without sin (1 John 1:8)...that we are making God out to be a liar if we deny we are not sinners (1 John 1:10)...only then, in these dire straights, is the good news like water to a dying plant. Until a person sees that they've got the death penalty hanging over their head they won't seek an Advocate (1 John 2:1) any more than if they don't know their incurably sick they won't seek a cure (Jer 17:9).
You can not preach the gospel without preaching about repentance as "John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 'Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt 3:1-2) and Peter pierced the conscience of those who were witnesses of and responsible for Jesus' being crucified and ripped their hearts open by saying, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 2:38). Even Jesus preached to those hearing that "The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:14-15). Repentance implies faith just as faith implies repentance and one can not exist without the other. They are two sides of the same coin. You can not separate turning from sin (repentance) and having faith to trust in Christ. In fact, conversion can not occur apart from the presence of both faith and repentance, just as in the Parable of the Sower, only a brokenness or conviction of sin can ready the fallow ground so that the soil of the heart can allow the seed of the Word to take root. You've heard this..."You want the good news first or the bad news?" Try the bad news first because only then does the good news of the gospel have any real power and it is the power to save (Rom 1:16). The bad news is that we can not save ourselves. The good news is that He is mighty to save (Zeph 3:17).
Jack Wellman is Senior Writer at What Christians Want to Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer's daily walk with God and the Bible.